Lesson Ideas for Middle East Interactive Activities

Basic Geography

Middle East Name-a-Nation: Make this activity link available on your teacher web site and in class for practice/study prior to a class test. Students can work with a partner on laptops or lab machines, challenging the other to name the country, then rolling the mouse over it to see if the answer is correct.

Middle East Nation drag-and-drop Speed Drill: On an interactive whiteboard, have teams race each other with a team leader in charge of the actual dragging. Keep track of the teams' times.

Middle East Nations-and-Facts: Break the class up into groups. Assign different portions of the map to different groups. Ask each group to make economic, political, and social predictions based on the data (religions and other facts). Bring the group back together to discuss all predictions as you continue to a wider unit of study on the region or analysis of current events.

Choose the lessons that best fit your curriculum goals:


Purpose/objectives of lesson

How to conduct the lesson
(procedures and tips for a successful class)

Introduction to Islam and how the religion has spread

  1. Have groups of students make charts of the countries that have the greatest populations of Islam. This can be done with the white board, in a spreadsheet, or on paper. Look at other data for these countries.
  1. Try the CIA Factbook and/or NationMaster for more information.
  1. Have the groups organize their information for sharing.The categories could be History – Location – Land Use – Environment issues – Life expectancy - and so on.
  1. Could be put in a kiosk format using PowerPoint (groups then “tour” the kiosks around the room to learn about other nations) or
  1. Each group could present their findings on the Smart or Promethean Board.

Identify “Cold War” conflicts in the Middle East.

Assign different groups to learn and present about each of the following conflicts in the Middle East:

Religious Values/Secular Values clash
The Ayatollah
Face Off in Afghanistan
Dessert Storm
Iraq War

Allow students to use the Middle East Interactive activities on the whiteboard as part of their presentation, drawing connections between geography, religion, and other factors.

Trace the conflicts between Israel and the Arab states

Use the interactive activities, CIA statistics, and other sources to show the patterns of conflict between Israel and Arab states. Have groups use the interactive activities, draw a  timeline, or PowerPoint to show key events

Trace Middle East peace efforts.

Where are these efforts now? Have student groups use current news reports, the TeachersFirst site, and other web sites to trace the many efforts:
Make a list of dates and leaders involved—and the outcome, then use this as a basis to predict twenty years from now in a mock “CIA briefing” using the interactive maps

Identify the challenges facing the former nations that made up the Soviet Union

Have students each take a  former country of the Soviet Union  and make headlines or “newspapers” for that country. These could be embellished with information from Arab newspapers using on-line sources. Each student should include his/her opinion of this question:

Is my country better off now that they are not part of the Soviet Union? Who is helping my country develop its resources?

Describe the possible role of middle east nations in World Terrorism.

Starting from the statistics in Middle East Nations-and-Facts, have students look at the educational level, unemployment, transnational issues, and poverty rate of the countries that are involved in Terrorism. Again, use CIA website for Literacy rates. Can we make a prediction about the spread of terrorism and possible solutions?


start lesson ideas Name a Nation Speed Drill Nations & Facts